I’m amazed at how some people seem to have it all together. They have their life mapped out, kids in tow, calendar organized, schedule laid out to the minute, and they just seem to know where they’re headed and how they’re going to get there.
If that’s you, fantastic. For the rest of us, however, we often lay out our plans and chart our course only to find roadblocks, detours, and setbacks. Life can be confusing and frustrating, especially when we pray for clarity but are shrouded in a cloud of chaos.
At the start of every new year, I pray for clarity. I pray for wisdom. I pray for God’s direction and guidance. I’ll say things like, “Lord, in this new year, will you help me see what you want me to see, so I will do what you want me to do?” If I’m honest, I like seeing more than believing. I like to know where I’m going, and I like to have a plan on how to get there.
According to Jesus, seeing is overrated. He blessed those who have not seen and yet have believed (John 20:29), which, by the way, includes us. He instructed His disciples to follow Him, but He didn’t always tell them where they were going. This reminds me of Abram’s obedience to follow God, even though he didn’t know his final destination (Hebrews 11:8). At one point in the history of the Israelites, they were powerless against their enemy and simply said, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12).
The meaning of faith is to obey and follow, not because we know what to do or where to go, but because our eyes are on Jesus.
John F. Kavanaugh was seeking clarity for his future as he spent a month serving in Calcutta at the “house of the dying.” He tells the story of his first meeting with Mother Teresa where she asked him how she could pray for him. He replied, “Pray that I have clarity.” She simply said, “No.” When he asked her why she announced that clarity was the last thing he was clinging to and had to let go of. He commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, and she laughed: “I have never had clarity; what I’ve always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust” (The Word Engaged, 91).
In this new year of 2020, your way can and will be foggy at times. You won’t have all the answers you seek. You won’t always know what to do or where to go. Jesus doesn’t expect you to. What He does expect is that your eyes remain on Him.
Leonard Sweet points out that church culture has fashioned an addiction to safety and security. “If we cannot plot a future path with visible surety, then we cannot imagine God would call us or lead us down it. But the way of the cross is one of trust, and it is trust that leads us to obedience in following the Master wherever He leads. The path may be uncertain. But for the trust-casting pilgrim, the One we follow will never steer us wrong” (I Am a Follower, 125).
My prayer for you in 2020 is that even though you might not have clarity, you will always have trust. May your eyes always remain on Jesus.